Recipe: Dill Pickle Kraut
We love dill pickles. Real dill pickles. The ones ordered as full-sours or half-sours and pulled from a barrel in New York's Lower East Side. That's how we fell in love with pickles. So when we got into food fermentation, making real pickles were at the top of our list. And when kirby cukes pop up at the farmer's market, dill pickles are definitely on our mind.
For good lacto-fermented pickles you need a certain type of cucumber, and you need it to be in season. So the rest of the year we get our dill pickle fix in the form of dill pickle kraut.
We use garlic, dill and cucumber skin to flavor this kraut. And the result is a kraut that's super fresh-tasting with or without a barrel.
1 head green cabbage
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 cucumbers, peeled (chop innards for a salad, for the kraut you only need the skins)
3 sprigs of fresh dill
3 garlic cloves
Remove and discard any outer damaged or wilted leaves from the cabbage. Reserve one large leaf. Quarter the cabbage and remove the core. Cut remaining cabbage into thin ribbons.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your shredded cabbage and salt. Massage the salt into your cabbage for 8-10 minutes, cabbage will soften and release liquid.
Add a couple cucumber peels, sprig of dill and garlic glove to the bottom of your fermentation jar. Pack the cabbage into your fermentation jar tightly using your hands and pressing down with your fist. Half way up add another layer of cucumber peels, dill and garlic. Add remaining cabbage and then top with a final layer of cucumber peels, dill and garlic. Add all liquid released from the cabbage.
Trim the reserved cabbage leaf into a circle (you can use the base of jar or the lid as a guide). Place on top of the packed cabbage and then add the fermentation weight. You want the packed cabbage to be completely submerged when weighted. If liquid levels are low you can top with a brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup water.
Top with lid and airlock (Need help? Check out our How to Assemble Airlock Video). Let ferment for 1 week at room temperature out of direct sunlight. Transfer finished kraut to jars and move to the refrigerator. Discard cucumber peels, dill and garlic before serving. Kraut will keep refrigerated for at least 2 months.